Volleyball concludes season in round four


Nicholas perez

Sophomore no.4 Anna Barr jumps up for a spike. volleyball ended their season last Friday to Wakeland 3-0.

On Friday, the volleyball team faced Wakeland in the fourth round for the regional semi-finals. The crowd was buzzing as they packed the stands to catch a glimpse of the Leopards battling the Wolverines. Right off the bat, the game had a back and forth score. The Wolverines pulled away as their middles blocked many of the Leopard’s hits, winning the set 25-18. 

“After the first set, I was ready to go right into the next,” junior setter Bethanie Wu said. “I knew that we didn’t play the best that we could, and was ready to put the first set behind us.”

In the second set, the Leopards responded by taking the lead first. The set was a nail-biter, each team countering the other’s attacks. Ultimately, the Wolverines held the Leopards and claimed the set 25-22. 

“I think our game against Wakeland was very challenging and competitive,” junior defensive specialist Kalin Carlson said. “I think we grew a lot this season and made a lot of progress and reached many goals.”

Going into the last set, the stakes were high with the game on the line, making the atmosphere filled with eagerness. In the end, the Leopards lost with the score of 15-25.

“Although our season did not end how we would have liked,” Wu said. “I am still so proud of the team. We have all grown so much and have made so many improvements from how we started.”

At the end of the season, the team received many awards. Sophomore middle Shelby Burriss, junior defensive specialist Kalin Carlson, and senior right side hitter Charlotte Wilson were awarded District 13-5A First Team. 

  “The bond of the team is indescribable,” sophomore outside hitter Anna Barr said. “I have never been so close with a team. This team was not just friends because of volleyball we were all friends because we love each other, and we are a family. I will forever stay in touch with these people because I love them more than anyone will ever know.”

In addition, Wu won District Setter of the Year. Senior middle Hannah Gonzales received the District Blocker of the Year, and junior libero McKenna Brand secured District Co-MVP. 

“I was very excited when I found out I was district setter of the year,” said Wu. “I am proud of this accomplishment, but I couldn’t have done it without my coaches, teammates and parents.”

Lastly, Gonzales was chosen as Third Team AVCA All-American as one of the few volleyball alums to receive an All-American award. She follows Averi Carlson, Rosemary Archer, Cecily Bramschreiber and Callie Kemohah who all played or currently compete on the collegiate level. 

“The seniors on this team are the leaders,” Barr said. “They provide on the court and they provide off the court. They have truly been such a strong influence on every underclassman. I can’t explain how much I will miss these seniors as they are my family.”

Ultimately, the team was Co-District, Area and Regional Quarterfinal Champions. Even though the season didn’t end with a medal, the team states that the progression of the program was worthwhile.

“I believe that this season was a monumental one,” Barr said. “I think that as a team we grew so much together, and I have stronger bonds with these girls more than anyone else. This season we started as a whole new team and practiced every single day dedicating our time to the lovejoy volleyball program. In my beliefs, this season was successful. Not in a winning state type of way but in a progress way. We overcame many obstacles in the season and that is why this season was monumental and successful.”